18 May 2022

Twins Trust has partnered with Bliss and The Smallest Things to campaign for the introduction of neonatal leave and pay.

Current statutory maternity, paternity and shared parental leave entitlements are letting down families with twins, triplets and more - and particularly those with premature and sick babies, or those who are bereaved.

What can you do to help us?

Please ask your MP to keep the government’s promise of extending leave for parents by signing the Twins Trust /Bliss pledge.


Email your MP

For parents, the experience of neonatal care can be life-changing and distressing. They may spend days, weeks or even months in hospital.

Although multiple pregnancies (twins, triplets or more) only make up 1.5% of pregnancies in the UK, nearly 2 in 3 are born prematurely compared to less than 1% of singleton pregnancies. Babies in neonatal care have better outcomes when their parents are there to assist with their care. That's why we're calling on the government to introduce neonatal leave and pay to make life easier and fairer for new parents and their babies.

Twins in neonatal care

Currently, there's no flexibility in parental leave policies. This means many parents must return to work while their baby or babies are still in hospital. For parents of twins, triplets or more, many spend much of their maternity/paternity leave in the hospital, sometimes getting into debt to take time off work without pay, whilst others leave work entirely.

Research from our partner charity, Bliss, found that in around 70% of families with a significant neonatal stay, at least one parent returned to work while their baby was still in hospital, whilst in 20% of cases with a significant stay, at least one parent took unpaid leave from work to be with their baby in hospital.

The government has committed to introducing support for employed parents forced to choose between work and being with their sick baby or babies in hospital, including in the Conservative manifesto and the March 2020 budget. The policy has cross-party support and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has developed policy proposals, working with parents, the charity sector, trade unions and employers which the government committed to implement. But the government has not yet acted on these commitments.

Now it the time for action. Despite the absence of the Employment Bill from the Queen's Speech, this change in legislation must happen as soon as possible.

Ask your MP to keep the government’s promise of extending leave for parents.

Email your MP

Together, we can make a huge difference to so many families’ lives.